How to find your niche as an aspiring copywriter, five tips
So, you’ve decided to start as a copywriter for yourself. You will transform dry information into smooth commercial texts that convince potential customers to buy. A nice step towards a creative career, but where the hell do you start?
If you are just starting out as a copywriter, it is useful to begin with determining your niche. A niche is a special segment in the market which is defined by the products and services created for a special and unique audience. It can also be a specific solution to a unique problem.
If you find out what your niche is, it is much easier to sell yourself (for a higher rate) because you have a defined and specialized offer. Think of it this way: if you are looking for a copywriter as a yoga studio and someone offers their copywriting services without specialism, you would rather choose someone with an affinity for yoga, right? Even if you are a very good copywriter, nobody is specialized in all niches. And you shouldn’t want that!
Knowing what your niche is, is your golden ticket: the longer you write copy within your niche, the better you get and the more people know that you are the “go-to” copywriter in that segment.
All nice and peachy, but how do you find out what your niche is? Don’t worry, I’ll give you some tips to get you started:
What is a niche?
The word “niche” is short for “niche market” and means a specific part of a particular market. Because a niche is so specific, there is less competition. The more specific the niche, the fewer providers and the more likely you are one of the few with a specialization.
A few examples of niches in copywriting: beauty, food, personal development, internet marketing, technology, relationships, fashion and real estate.
As I mentioned above, as a copywriter you simply cannot specialize in all these diverse subjects. Time to choose!
What makes your heart beat faster?
Finding your niche involves trial and error. It’s an organic process, so try to enjoy it and don’t blindly focus on a particular category that you hoped would become your speciality. Try to find out what interests you. What experiences, apart from writing, have made your heart beat faster and would you like to experience more often? Which brands give the opportunity to relive that experience? Which brands arouse your interest?
The basis for finding your niche is finding your genuine interests. Without that natural curiosity and drive to learn more, you will never be able to hold on long enough to become specialized in your niche. Writing about something you think is boring for your money is exactly what you don’t want, right?
Determining your niche
When you have a list of interests that you know you could spend hours researching, it’s time to make a choice, because the more specialized your niche, the less competition. Try to find the right balance because if you are too specialized, there may be little to no demand for it. Now choose two “sub-niches”. For me, these are technological services and products that initiate personal development, and books about personal development (preferably with a touch of tech). I personally find these very interesting topics, for which I have an intrinsic tendency to learn more about them. For fun, I like to read books about it, watch YouTube videos and scroll for an indefinite period of time through articles about these topics for example.
Do you feel the same for the topics you have chosen? Then you are on the right track!
Research your niche
Everything stands or falls with solid research. The more you know about the audience you are writing for, what the competition is doing and the size of the market, the better you can determine what type of copy you can write. Try to map out for yourself what the market looks like and what products/services are offered in your niche.
Create an inspiration folder on your computer where you save everything that gives you the inspiration to write for your niche. Think of quotes, passages from a book, articles, websites, Instagram posts etc. and make a list of products, services and brands within your niche that you would like to write for. If this turns out to be a short list, you may be a little too selective. To stick with the yoga school example: you can make the variety of topics as broad as you want: from meditation mats to an interview with the Dalai Lama (possibly a bit too far fetched, but hey, you know what I mean).
Long story short: Open Google and investigate!
Finally: Start writing. If you are just starting out it may seem intimidating to start with a portfolio. You don’t have customers yet, and to get customers you need to show your portfolio. A vicious circle that you cannot get out of if you don’t simply start writing. Choose a brand you would like to write for, come up with a good angle: something you would like to read about and write that article! When you have finished this you can always choose to send your article to the company and offer your services. You can also choose to rewrite existing copy in a way that you find better suited to that brand or company and thus offer your copy services.
The more you write and build your portfolio, the better you become in determining which niche suits you. The best thing to do is just start, be honest with yourself about where you get your energy from and most importantly don’t give up.
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